Most of us get carried away when launching a website, our enthusiasm leading us to believe we can handle everything ourselves – and, to an extent, you can in the early days.
However, as your blog grows, staying on top of everything becomes more difficult. At some point, you’ll want to hand over the responsibility for some tasks to other people. This allows you to spend your time focusing on the things you’re good at. Of course, this has two main advantages:
- It frees up your time
- Tasks can be performed by specialists
When done correctly, having a team on hand to work on your website can add a lot of value and can help your site grow more quickly. On the flip side, it does give you one other thing to consider: how you’re going to manage your team.
Thankfully, WordPress has plenty of dedicated project management plugins available, meaning you can organize, communicate, and collaborate with your team with minimal fuss. Here are some of my favorite WordPress project management plugins.
WP Project Manager WordPress Plugin
If you’re looking for a low cost project management solution, the core WP Project Manager plugin can be downloaded for free. The free version of the plugin has quite limited functionality, but it does provide a basic way to create tasks and communicate with your team members.
The plugin lets you create new projects, then assign relevant users to that project. After doing so, team members can communicate within the WordPress dashboard, and share files with one another. You can also add to-do lists within a project, and assign individual users to each task – there’s even a progress bar to show you how things are going.
If you like the basic functionality of the plugin, you can upgrade to Pro. There’s a visual calendar which shows you when certain tasks are due and who is responsible for each task. If things change, you can drag-and-drop a task to change the due date. You also have more control over user permission levels, letting you determine who can see and do certain things. For even more functionality, WP Project Manager supports premium add-ons, including a handy time-tracker, an invoicing solution, and WooCommerce integration.
Orbis WordPress Plugin
The Orbis plugin supports a number of functions suitable for running a small business, including project management capabilities — the plugin is also useful for customer relation management. The core Orbis framework can be downloaded free of charge. It’s ideal for those of you working with multiple companies: you can add people and create projects, then assign each one to a specific company. This lets you stay on top of what needs doing for each of your clients, and by what date.
You can add more sophisticated functionality to the Orbis framework using one of the many Orbis extensions. There are currently eight extensions available — four free extensions, and four premium ones costing €39 each. From a project management perspective, some of the most useful Orbis extensions include Orbis Tasks (which lets you create tasks, assign team members, and specify deadlines), and Orbis Finance (that adds finance functionality to Orbis, helping you stay on top of a project’s costs).
CollabPress WordPress Plugin
If your budget is limited, CollabPress is a completely free Open Source project management plugin. It gives you an easy way to manage all your projects in one place, by letting you create an unlimited number of projects in the WordPress dashboard. Within each project, you have the ability to split things up into smaller tasks, and discuss individual tasks and the overall project with team members — to help keep the whole team up-to-date, you can also turn on email notifications which are sent when a new task or comment is added to a project they’re subscribed to.
The CollabPress plugin also supports a handy calendar view, which lets you visualize when specific tasks are due. If you are worried about privacy, the plugin includes an activity log so you can monitor what your team are up to. For a free plugin, CollabPress is surprisingly feature-rich and can be fully integrated with BuddyPress.
Project Panorama WordPress Plugin
Project Panorama is the ideal project management plugin for those who like to visualize a project’s progress. As with most project management plugins, you can get the basic functionality for free — available by downloading Project Panorama Lite. This free version of the plugin lets you create projects, set start and finish dates, outline key milestones, and track progress. It also provides the interface for you to discuss individual projects with team members.
While Project Panorama Lite lets you see how a project is progressing using a variety of stylish charts and graphs, if you want the plugin’s full range of functions you’ll need to upgrade to the Pro version — a one site license costs $50, but if you want to use Project Panorama on all your clients websites, the unlimited site license costs $75.
The full Project Panorama plugin lets you break each project down into smaller tasks and phases. It also gives you greater privacy, as you can password protect projects, as well as restricting access to projects to individual team members. Finally, the premium plugin gives you a place to upload and store files needed by team members.
TaskFreak! WordPress Plugin
If you want a project management plugin that supports only the functionality you absolutely need, it’s well worth checking out the TaskFreak! plugin. The plugin is user friendly and lets you manage your projects right from the WordPress dashboard.
TaskFreak! lets you create tasks then assign team members based on their WordPress user roles — you can control individual tasks this way, too. You can also open tasks up to the public and your subscribers, by creating public tasks. The TaskFreak! interface facilitates discussions between team members, and even provides an easy way to upload and share documents. The best thing about this plugin? TaskFreak! is completely free of charge.
If you want to make sure your team is working in the most efficient way possible, a project management plugin really is a must. Not only does it keep everyone moving in the same direction, but it makes it that much easier to assign tasks and discuss progress with team members.
If you’re unsure how much value a project management plugin will add to your business, the majority of plugins come with a free version with limited functionality. This is great for budget conscious webmasters, and I highly recommend you test one out, then upgrade to the premium version if you like the plugin’s interface — and, of course, if the additional functionality feels like something you need.
Have you got a favorite project management plugin? Share your thoughts in the comment space below!